Featuring a faithful dog that becomes the hero of the story, this film could be considered the forerunner of the Lassie films. The production company Hepworth is still best remembered for this highly innovative short which was the most famous of all early British Films and is now considered a ‘classic’ of early narrative construction.
In the opening scene of the film we see the dog Rover plays with a baby in the living room. In the afternoon, the baby is taken out by her nurse. A beggar woman asks the nurse for money, but she refuses. While the nurse flirts with a soldier, she takes her eye off the pram. The beggar woman takes advantage of this and steals the baby.
As the nurse tells the baby’s mother what has happened Rover listens intently. He jumps through the window and races down the streets , around a corner and across a river. He finds a collection of slum dwellings and goes from door to door. Finally hitting upon the right one, he enters, finding the beggar woman with the baby. She shoos him away, so he returns home and pleads with the baby’s father to accompany him. He follows Rover in a boat across the river, and Rover leads him to the beggar woman. The baby is rescued and returned to his mother. Rover skips happily around them. —bfi
Cecil Milton Hepworth (19 March 1874 – 9 February 1953) was an English film director, producer and screenwriter. He was among the founders of the British film industry and continued making films into the 1920s at his Walton Studios. In 1923 his company went into receivership.
Hepworth was born in Lambeth, South London. His father, Thomas Cradock Hepworth, was a famous magic lantern showman and author. Cecil Hepworth became involved in the early stages of British filmmaking, working for both Birt Acres and Charles Urban, and wrote the first British book on the subject in 1897. With his cousin Monty Wicks he set up the production company Hepworth and Co. (also known as “Hepwix” after the word mark in its trade logo), which was later renamed the Hepworth Manufacturing Company (officially: Hepworth Film Manufacturing Company), and then Hepworth Picture Plays. In 1899 they built a small film studio in Walton-on-Thames, Hepworth Studios. The company produced about three films a week… read more